Credo Christian's Ryan Hoogstra can't contain his joy as the Credo Christian Kodiaks topped No. 1 Glenlyon Norfolk in the Final Four on Friday. (Photo by Wilson Wong property of UBC athletics 2019. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Boys Basketball

FINAL EDITION: Single-A B.C. Boys: It’s Credo’s Kodiaks, KCS’ Knights after Gryphons, Highroad fall in Final 4

LANGLEY — Welcome to our Day 3 coverage from the 2019 B.C. senior boys basketball championships.

Coverage is being provided for all eight Final Four games across four tiers tonight. We appreciate your patience as we do our best to post game reports tonight.

Coverage for both Quad-A and Triple-A games will be provided by Howard Tsumura. Former Vancouver Sun sportswriter Gary Kingston will cover the Double-A semifinals, while the Langley Event Centre’s own Gary Ahuja will provide reports from the Single-A contests.

FINAL FOUR FRIDAY

GAME REPORTS

BY GARY AHUJA, SPECIAL FOR VARSITY LETTERS

Credo Christian’s Will Dykstra rises for a jump shot against Glenlyon Norfolk. (Photo by Wilson Wong property of UBC athletics 2019. All Rights Reserved)

No. 4 CREDO CHRISTIAN 97 No. 1 GLENLYON NORFOLK 88 (2-OT) 

LANGLEY — Just call them the cardiac Kodiaks!

One night after erasing a 15-point deficit to post a stunning fourth quarter comeback in the quarter-finals, Langley’s Credo Christian Kodiaks were at it again in Friday’s semifinal showdown with the top-seed Glenlyon Norfolk Gryphons.

The No. 4 Kodiaks found themselves trailing by nine points with just under six minutes remaining but outscored their Victoria opponents 16-7 down the stretch to force overtime and then outlasted the Gryphons in a war of attrition as the game stretched to double overtime before Credo Christian finally prevailed 97-88.

And even making it to double overtime required some late-game magic as Stephen Klein banked a three-pointer off the glass and in with 12.9 seconds remaining to force another period.

The game turned when Credo’s Anthony Vanderstoep came up with a four-point play, drilling a three-pointer while being sent tumbling backwards and calmly sinking the foul shot to make it 88-83 with 2:28 to go and the Kodiaks iced the game from the charity stripe.

Credo Christian shook off a poor first half from the foul line (they missed (10) more than they made (7) but when the game was on the line, the team delivered, sinking 13 of 17 in the second half (including 11-for-15 in the fourth quarter alone) and then 17 of 24 in the two overtime periods.

The game was a battle with five players from each side fouling out and Vanderploeg credited his bench for rising to the occasion.

“We are so deep so when fouls started happening, they were able to step up and fill roles,” he said. “It didn’t come down the best players winning the game, it came down to who worked the hardest from the guys on the bench so that was a really proud moment as a coach.”

The game saw the Gryphons build an eight-point lead in the first quarter before the Kodiaks closed the gap to three points and tie the score by the half at 33.

Glenlyon Norfolk took a four-point lead into the fourth quarter but just could not put the Kodiaks away.

Will Dykstra led Credo Christian with 27 points (including all 14 of his team’s points in the third quarter) it was a balanced attack which saw five Kodiaks score between 15 and 27 points.

Vanderstoep had 18 points, four assists and three rebounds, Eric Sikma had 17 points and nine rebounds, Klein had 16 points and 15 rebounds and Elijah Faragalla had 15 points, five steals and three rebounds.

As has been the case all tournament, Chris Graham continued his scoring barrage with a third-straight 30-plus point performance, this time with 39 points and 19 rebounds.

Ethan Stanger had 26 points and Noah Fekete had 13 points.

For the Kodiaks, this marks the fifth consecutive year they have finished in the top five, placing fourth (2015), second (2016), fifth (2017) and third (2018) as they search for the first 1A boys provincial title in school history.

What might Vanderploeg’s message be to his team on the eve of their biggest game of the season?

“Enjoy the moment. We were one point from not even being in this tournament, so every little possession, very little moment is special,” he said about a one-point victory in the zone semifinals when a loss would have ended their chances at qualifying for provincials. 

“Tomorrow we are just going to take it one possession at a time and then at the end of the game, we are going to take a look at the scoreboard and see who wins.”

If you’re reading this story or viewing these photos on any website other than one belonging to a university athletic department, it has been taken without appropriate permission. In these challenging times, true journalism will survive only through your dedicated support and loyalty. VarsityLetters.ca and all of its exclusive content has been created to serve B.C.’s high school and university sports community with hard work, integrity and respect. Feel free to drop us a line any time at howardtsumura@gmail.com.

The Kelowna Christian Knights celebrate a win over Highroad Academy and a berth in Saturday’s B.C. Single A title game. (Photo by Mary Kessenich property of Vancouver Sports Pictures 2018. All Rights Reserved)

No. 2 KELOWNA CHRISTIAN 58 No. 3 HIGHROAD ACADEMY 51

LANGLEY — Head coach Daniel Benson always his implores his players to shoot.

Kelowna Christian entered the game with a 100-point effort in round one and then another 77 points in the quarter-final round and was shooting 39.4 per cent from the field and 37.9 per cent from beyond the arc.

But there was no panic or change in strategy as top-seeded Kelowna Christian got all they could handle against No. 3 Highroad Academy (Chilliwack) in a battle of teams who share the Knights moniker.

Kelowna Christian won the battle of the Knights 58-51.

The lead changed hands a dozen times and was never more than four points.

Kelowna Christian was up four at the half but suddenly found itself trailing 48-44 with three minutes to play.

“We could not buy a bucket from outside,” Benson lamented. “I just told my boys, if you are open and it’s the end of the shot clock and you have a three, I don’t care if you have missed 10 in a row, keep taking it.”

And Indy Hallett took his coach up on that as the Grade 11 guard – who was 2-for-4 in the first half – hit a trio of three-point shots as his team outscored Heritage Christian 14-3 over those final three minutes.

“Indy hit them, that’s all that mattered,” the coach smiled, admitting the offence was not generating the best looks at the basket.

Grade 10 guard Jake Sabbagh had a huge game for the victors, finishing with a game-high 18 points and 15 rebounds, with three blocked shots for good measure.

Hallett wound up with 16 points and Colin Christophe had 10 points, eight rebounds and three assists.

Highroad Academy was led by Elijah Grimard’s 16 points and seven rebounds, as well as 13 points from Aidan Morris and another dozen courtesy of Easton Abel.

Benson was happy with how his team responded to the adversity, considering they had only trailed for a grand total of 8:38 over the first 80 minutes.

“Perseverance. They played hard despite not hitting shots and we got the ‘W’ despite lots of things not going as planned,” he said. 

“And Highroad, those guys hustled like crazy and played so hard.”

The Knights will go up against Credo Christian for the championship on Saturday as Kelowna Christian looks to add to their record of five 1A championship banners, having already won in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and most recently in 2015.

Benson was a player on those first two championship-winning squads, as well as the 2010 team which jumped up to the 3A tier that year.

Having gone through multiple championship runs as a player, his message will be simple: “Take care of business, just like usual.”

If you’re reading this story or viewing these photos on any website other than one belonging to a university athletic department, it has been taken without appropriate permission. In these challenging times, true journalism will survive only through your dedicated support and loyalty. VarsityLetters.ca and all of its exclusive content has been created to serve B.C.’s high school and university sports community with hard work, integrity and respect. Feel free to drop us a line any time at howardtsumura@gmail.com.

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